Poll puts President "miles ahead"
Tuesday, October 8, 302 AP
Web posted at 0926 UST.
While the election is three-and-a-half months away, the first real poll for the Presidential race shows President Okarvits is "miles ahead" of the competition.
President Okarvits is sitting on 43% of the polled vote, while his nearest competitor, Governor Hope, sits on only 12%, in the country's first real nationwide poll of voters' preferences in the Presidential race.
Despite the heady lead, the President is not out of the woods. Firstly, the President is a substantial 7% from an outright victory (over 50%) which means he will have to face the leading opponent -- Gov. Hope, according to the poll -- in a Presidential Run-off election. Furthermore, almost all of his leading opponents, from Hope to Olds, are from the right wing of politics, suggesting that the President will win few of their votes in the run-off. All of which could add up to a much closer election that this poll suggests.
The poll, conducted by Kapur-Zeitgeist, revealed some other surprises. Liberal Nationalist candidate, Kyle Langley is sitting in third place, according to the poll, on 10%. This suggests that Governor Hope has a far tougher race ahead to keep the competition away from stealing his second-place and place in the Presidential Run-off.
This is surprising, says Professor David Kapur of the University of Luka, and poll co-author. "Not because Governor Hope has competition, but that it is Kyle Langley. Langley has been touted as too extreme to really have an impact."
However, Langley's Liberal Nationalists have, over the past year, been slowly dragged to the more moderate centre of politics in a move, by Langley, to present "a third way".
The poll also shows Burovian-Liberal candidate, Max Boornal, in fourth place, marginally ahead of the Democrat's Cameron Olds, whose party is deeply divided. Boornal, having similar policies to Hope, could draw support from Hope and effectively push Langley into second place.
Finally, Robert Talin, the Republican candidate only elected over the weekend, is sitting on a mere 4%. His party is in coalition with the President's Peoples and Utani Saedaj parties, meaning many of his supporters are backing the President.
The poll, conducted last week, also asked the voters who they would vote for if the Run-off election was between two specified candidates. Against all challengers, according to the polls, President Okarvits would win, but there was a significant number of "undecided" voters making his victory far from assured.
The poll does, however, show that Kyle Langley would not receive wider support from other right-wing voters if he were to win the first round of voting, and face the President in the run-off. In fact, the President received 61% of the polled vote, meaning as many as 10% of voters, undecided or right-wing voters, would vote for the President in preference to Langley.
That figure is about 5% for Cameron Olds, perhaps in response to the divided nature of the Democratic Party at the moment, but only 2% in the case of Gov. Hope.
Max Boornal attracted the largest body of "undecided" voters, if he were to face down the President, suggesting that many voters do not yet know him or his parties' policies.
However, with the President so far ahead in these polls, who he faces in the run-off may yet be a moot point.
The poll was conducted last week, interviewing 1047 eligible Utanian voters.
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